Thursday, January 18, 2007

Today I had an exercise in Self Confidence...

I was booked for a CPR class today. I was running late, as per usual. I went in and sat down. I have been through so many of these classes in the past, it isn't like it was all new to me.

We were having a discussion about doing CPR and bagging a patient. He asked the class if anyone had ever done it, there were two of us who had. The discussion went on a little longer then he asked for us to get into groups of three to practice the bagger.

The two women beside me were both PCA's from the nursing home across the parking lot from my hospital. They said, "Oh, we will take you!! You have so much experience." I just smiled and joined them. The CPR instructor pipes up in his offhand humour way, "Oh, from being picked last for the team to being picked first!" Without even thinking I looked this man in the eye and said, "I have NEVER been picked last for ANY team." At first I didn't really realize the power in the statement I had made.

Only after a few minutes, when his respect for me had obviously shifted to the positive. When I found myself very at ease, did I realize how I had empowered myself by that simple statement. In essence, I had told him, "I am worthy, capable and intelligent, do not belittle me". After the class was done, I thought about this some more. I felt so good about myself. The fact that I didn't get 100% on the written test afterward didn't even matter anymore.

I relayed this story to my sweet dear friend, the one who has been the fuel to this fire I am creating in myself. The one that is always telling me how wonderful, beautiful and incredible that I am. As I told him the story, he just said, "You know, I love you so much". He was just so proud of me for taking that step, he so completely understood what a milestone it was. I know it was just a simple statement, but to me, it has given me a profound sense of self.

Today, what I like about me.......ME!

Monday, January 15, 2007

I wonder if the self esteem issues ever really go away....

Or if one just learns to cope with them differently? I have done so much work, so much positive self talk......and not just from the beginning of this blog......but from years of this up and down thing I do with my self image. I still have probably more moments than not where I look in the mirror and zero in on the negatives. I don't know what to do to stop that. I am getting better at correcting it once it happens, but I am really aiming to have it NOT happen at all.

I really would like to look in the mirror and say, "Damn, I look good" before I spend an hour on makeup and hair. Not always see all the imperfections. I want to actually just see the Imperfect Perfection. What that means to me is to know that they are there, but to be able to really embrace them and see that they are part of the sum total of what makes me, me.

I have many imperfections, some are physical, some are emotional, some are personality.......they are the things that have hindered me in so many ways. Yet, it is funny how I have been so easily hanging onto the way people see me negatively, and having a hard time when others, seeing those same traits, do not see them as the imperfections at all.

since it has been brought to my attention by two people that I had forgotten to post it......
Edited to add:
Today what I like about ability to touch people with my writing

Friday, January 12, 2007

My attitude is certainly changing.........

As I was discussing my views and my blog with my dear, sweet friend....I came to the focus has definitely changed direction. I have come to see that it isn't so much about the weight anymore, but more about how I feel about me. I am not even so much concerned about what others see in me.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that in a few short weeks, I am all of a sudden cured of all of my insecurities and self esteem issues.......I am not. What I am saying is that I am starting to feel good about myself and I am liking myself more. I am proud of myself for being able to put into words these feelings I have, and be able to see them for what they really are.

I am delving into the reasons why I have developed these insecurities, and coming up with some very interesting answers. I have also come up with some interesting answers as to why I have put on the weight as well.

I am finally starting to acknowledge the worth that I have and not try to dismiss it anymore. I have always known it was there, I was just conditioned to not allow myself to believe it. To admit my own intelligence, my own beauty, my own self worth.....that would be boastful.....and being boastful was considered a poor trait to have. To tell others that you were smart, or that you felt you were pretty, those things were egotistical and wrong.

It has taken me 40 years just to be able to say, "I am pretty, I am beautiful, I am smart" And really mean it.....and really not care if the person I am telling it to believes it or not. I know that I have inner beauty as well. I am just finally seeing that by allowing people in to see it, will make it resonate on the outside as well.

Do I still want to be thinner? Yes......I will not deny that. Do I believe that being thinner is the only road to my happiness.......not for a minute. I know my road to happiness lies with what is inside, not with what is outside. And once I can bind the two together, meaning being happy no matter what the outside is, not letting my outward appearance hold me back from anything that makes me happy....then, and only then, will I be able to move forward.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What does it take to have a good sense of self esteem?

This is really the age old question for me here.

As a nursing student, I studied Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. This was the basis in which defined the motivations of peoples actions and reactions to certain situations. For those not familiar with them, here they are from .here
Physiological Needs
These are biological needs. They consist of needs for oxygen, food, water, and a relatively constant body temperature. They are the strongest needs because if a person were deprived of all needs, the physiological ones would come first in the person's search for satisfaction.

Safety Needs
When all physiological needs are satisfied and are no longer controlling thoughts and behaviors, the needs for security can become active. Adults have little awareness of their security needs except in times of emergency or periods of disorganization in the social structure (such as widespread rioting). Children often display the signs of insecurity and the need to be safe.

Needs of Love, Affection and Belongingness
When the needs for safety and for physiological well-being are satisfied, the next class of needs for love, affection and belongingness can emerge. Maslow states that people seek to overcome feelings of loneliness and alienation. This involves both giving and receiving love, affection and the sense of belonging.

Needs for Esteem
When the first three classes of needs are satisfied, the needs for esteem can become dominant. These involve needs for both self-esteem and for the esteem a person gets from others. Humans have a need for a stable, firmly based, high level of self-respect, and respect from others. When these needs are satisfied, the person feels self-confident and valuable as a person in the world. When these needs are frustrated, the person feels inferior, weak, helpless and worthless.

Needs for Self-Actualization
When all of the foregoing needs are satisfied, then and only then are the needs for self-actualization activated. Maslow describes self-actualization as a person's need to be and do that which the person was "born to do." "A musician must make music, an artist must paint, and a poet must write." These needs make themselves felt in signs of restlessness. The person feels on edge, tense, lacking something, in short, restless. If a person is hungry, unsafe, not loved or accepted, or lacking self-esteem, it is very easy to know what the person is restless about. It is not always clear what a person wants when there is a need for self-actualization.

The hierarchic theory is often represented as a pyramid, with the larger, lower levels representing the lower needs, and the upper point representing the need for self-actualization. Maslow believes that the only reason that people would not move well in direction of self-actualization is because of hindrances placed in their way by society. He states that education is one of these hindrances. He recommends ways education can switch from its usual person-stunting tactics to person-growing approaches. Maslow states that educators should respond to the potential an individual has for growing into a self-actualizing person of his/her own kind. Ten points that educators should address are listed:

1. We should teach people to be authentic, to be aware of their inner selves and to hear their inner-feeling voices.

2. We should teach people to transcend their cultural conditioning and become world citizens.

3. We should help people discover their vocation in life, their calling, fate or destiny. This is especially focused on finding the right career and the right mate.

4. We should teach people that life is precious, that there is joy to be experienced in life, and if people are open to seeing the good and joyous in all kinds of situations, it makes life worth living.

5. We must accept the person as he or she is and help the person learn their inner nature. From real knowledge of aptitudes and limitations we can know what to build upon, what potentials are really there.

6. We must see that the person's basic needs are satisfied. This includes safety, belongingness, and esteem needs.

7. We should refreshen consciousness, teaching the person to appreciate beauty and the other good things in nature and in living.

8. We should teach people that controls are good, and complete abandon is bad. It takes control to improve the quality of life in all areas.

9. We should teach people to transcend the trifling problems and grapple with the serious problems in life. These include the problems of injustice, of pain, suffering, and death.

10. We must teach people to be good choosers. They must be given practice in making good choices.

I am posting here about education and educators only because I believe truly, that we are all put on this earth to teach someone else something. We only leave this world when our lessons have all been taught and learned. If one looks at the list of important things that educators should do, try to apply them to your own life and in your own interactions.

I remember talking to a woman once, who was sitting by her husband's bedside. He was dying.....he had been dying for a long time. She asked me, "how much longer can he hang on like this?" I told her about my belief that people only leave this earth when they are done their tasks. There was still something that he was to teach someone. She thought on that for a while. A day or two later, I was back on shift, and this man passed. The wife asked me to a quiet place, she said, "you were right, the final lesson had not been learned. I had to learn to have patience, and that I wasn't in control of everything." She and I both cried. I do believe that lesson will have stuck with her for the rest of her life too.

So as for my own lessons, of course I do not know what it is I am supposed to be teaching others, or what I am supposed to learn from others. I know that this forum, the interactions from the people who read, those all give me lessons and insight, and I feel that in turn, the people who read here take away some lessons and insight. I guess what I am saying is, be a teacher and a student all the time. Once you get past the hinderances, you can achieve your fullest potential. And the education I am needing is in how to change my thought process in order to see myself as a wonderful, unique, deserving and worthy human being. And when I see it, to treat myself with the respect I deserve. It is coming.....I feel it closer every day.

Today, what I like about me is my way of abstract thinking

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Today, things are feeling a little easier.........

I am feeling good today. I feel happy. I feel pretty. I feel loved. I feel energetic.

I don't know what has really caused all these good feelings, outside of a pretty good nights sleep, and the fact that the killer headache I had yesterday was gone when I woke up this morning.

My moods at times seem so labile. I swing from highs to lows, dependant on my work schedule, my body schedule, my environment. At one time, during my depression and during a session with a psychiatrist, he asked me if I thought myself as bi-polar. I actually laughed at him, saying, "I only wish I could have one manic day in my life to accomplish something" I know I am not bi-polar, because bi-polar cannot be cured, it can only be controlled. I am not on medication, I have not been on medication since January 2003. I am not depressed, nor am I manic. For the first time in my life, I feel.......normal.

I still have issues with my self esteem, that is what this exercise is all about. Writing out my insecurities, in the hopes of being able to read them and see them for what they are, to be able to get past them and really start living my life to its fullest potential. Not allowing myself to bind myself against what I really want out of my life.

I do not just write here, hoping people will read. I write here, to make my thoughts tangible. I read, re-read, and re-read again the words I write. I try to read it from different perspectives, as myself, as a stranger, as someone who loves see what my words do to affect those around me. That is why your comments, positive or negative are so important to me. I know there are a lot of people reading here, I can see it in my stats, but so few comment. This national delurkers week, so please, let me know you are here.

Today, what I like about me........I have some pretty damn incredible eyes.

Monday, January 8, 2007

I saw a lady on TV the other day..........

I believe it was on the Rachael Ray show. She was very overweight, and needed to lose weight for her health. The way she did it was by getting people in her life to "sponsor a pound" So for each pound she lost, someone did something with her, for her, in her honour, etc. The pounds were all numbered and people knew which pound they were sponsoring. I believe she had already lost about 100. see her story here

I wonder if this "one pound at a time" attitude is what would work for me??? Almost sounds like the beginning of a new blog..................

Today, what I like about amazingly warped sense of humour.

Now that I have had some time to think........

New Years Resolutions

1. Make a conscious effort to say, "Thank you" when someone pays me a compliment with no argument. This is something I have tried to do for a long time, but I still fail at it miserably. Instead of just accepting the compliment, I have always tended to go into an explanation as to why I WASN'T worthy of the compliment.

2. Find something I like about myself every day. From the simplest to the most profound.

3. Do things every day to make myself feel beautiful. Get my nails done, a pedicure, my hair done, or even just putting on makeup.

4. Get pictures taken of myself professionally. This is something I did once, a long time ago. Since then I have not felt I deserved it, or looked good enough to do it....but, this is the year I do it again. Maybe they will even be boudoir type photos!!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

New Year, New Life, New Resolutions

New Years Day is always the day that people make ridiculously difficult resolutions to change their lives. Most fizzle out long before the month of January does. Some people carry through and make their resolutions stick. I believe that those people who do that were just in the right frame of mind, and it wouldn't matter what day they made that choice, be it January 1st or June 23rd, they would stick to it anyway. I admire those people. To have the will power to stick to something in order to get what they really want. Or perhaps they just really know what it is that they want and go after it.

I wonder if that is true for myself and if that is why I have never been able to get what it is that I want. Maybe I just do not truly know what it is that I want.

I think I want to be thin. I equate thin with beauty. I want to be viewed as beautiful. I want people to see me and really see a beautiful woman.

There is really only one person in my life who has ever said that I was beautiful. Neither of my ex-husbands ever just walked up to me out of the blue and said, "You are beautiful". They would say I looked nice if I got all dressed up to go somewhere, but usually only after me asking them. They may say something about "looking pretty today". But as far as truly seeing me as beautiful, if they did, they never told me.

There is one man, a man I have known for years. A man with whom I have a deep connection, one that surpassed time apart and separate marriages and children. A man I have fairly recently become reconnected with. He tells me I am beautiful. He tells me this on a daily basis. Several times a day, actually. I know that when he looks at me, I am beautiful. The problem is, I still do not feel that way to the general public. I still feel they look at me and see something less than that.

I think though, that the problem is that the general public sees me as I see myself. I see myself as less than desirable, so people around me see me that way as well. When I am with this man, I feel beautiful. I notice that people around me see me differently, because I feel differently.

So, my New Year's Resolution has to be to make the conscious effort to do things that make me feel beautiful about myself. I just have to figure out what those are.